13:19 GMT13 August 2020
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    The French government announced on Tuesday a suspension of tax increases on fuel scheduled for 1 January in a bid to put an end to weeks-long protests by the “Yellow Vests”.

    Speaking with the French media outlet La Depeche, Benjamin Cauchy, a member of the “Yellow Vests” said that the movement wants to continue protests – although, he added, they need to be non-violent.

    “The Yellow Vests wish an act IV next Saturday. But what matters to me is that this movement must become pacifist and non-violent again. A sit-in of 5,000 Yellow Vests on Capitol Square in Toulouse would have more impact on the public authorities than these images of violence. We must maintain the sympathy and support of 85% of the French”, he said.

    Cauchy told BFMTV that the suspension of the fuel tax hike was not what they wanted – they sought a complete “cancellation of the increase in fuel and energy taxes, scheduled for 1 January 2019”.

    “The French want the whole baguette, not just the crumbs”, he said.

    On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe declared a six-month moratorium on the fuel tax increase and suspended electricity and gas price surges for three months following three-week-long protests across France.

    "Yellow vests" protests, named after the reflective yellow vests that all French drivers are obliged to keep in their cars, have been ongoing nationwide since 17 November.

    Peaceful demonstrations quickly evolved into violent riots, with lighting of fires, destruction of luxury boutiques and cars, and clashes with police. Some 4,500 police officers were deployed to deal with about 10,000 protesters in Paris alone.

    fuel, price hike, increase, protests, Edouard Philippe, France
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